With the release of Marvel’s Iron Fist earlier this year, we now have first (and the occasional second) seasons for all of the individual Defenders: Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand. However, each of these individual series had their pros and cons, and Iron Fist was so badthat I kind of never wanted to see anything with Danny Rand in it ever again. But now the full-length trailer for Marvel’s The Defenders is out, and it’s actually a little…. entertaining?
The final Defender in Marvel’s Netflix series, Danny Rand, premiered in his own series, Iron Fist, in March of this year. Danny is a martial artist who has the Iron Fist, or the ability to turn his fist glowy yellow and use it to punch through walls. Together with his new friend/love interest Colleen Wing and series fan favorites like Claire Temple, he takes on Madame Gao and the Hand. The Hand were the villains of Daredevil, the sole Marvel Netflix property that I did not finish because the grimdark racism of it was not my cup of tea. But Iron Fist promised to be at least tangentially about Asian culture and was sure to feature at least one Asian character in Colleen, so I decided to watch it anyway.
Iron Fist was an incredibly slow slog in which I wasted thirteen hours of my life on cultural appropriation, Asian erasure, manpain, and drugs, and I would not recommend it. But if you want a longer opinion, below are the five main reasons Iron Fist was not great. Spoilers for the entire series follow.
Saika and I just finished Luke Cage, the third Netflix installment of Marvel’s four-part NYC superhero adventure. Luke, along with Jessica Jones, Matt Murdock, and some guy called Daniel Rand are supposed to make up The Defenders, a group of superheroes who will be showcased in a later Netflix miniseries. I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica Jones, but I gave up on Daredevil a few episodes in thanks to its relentless grimdarkness and racism, so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the last Defender. “Who even is Daniel Rand?” I asked Saika.
“Oh, he’s Iron Fist, he knows martial arts and stuff,” she told me.
“Oh, cool!” I said. “So they cast an Asian guy finally!”
“They got fucking Loras Tyrell to play him,” she said. “So… not really.”
As you might imagine, I watched the newly dropped Iron Fist trailer with some trepidation.